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 Family of bear victim sues Fed and wins

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Posts : 603
Join date : 2009-05-27

PostSubject: Family of bear victim sues Fed and wins   Wed May 11, 2011 4:13 pm

So what is everyone's take on this judgment?

Utah, what's the word on the street in the Beehive state?

Jim Dalrymple
Daily Herald
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

PROVO -- Four years after Samuel Ives died in a bear attack, his parents are still reeling, but they hope a nearly $2 million judgement they won against the federal government sparks changes in the way authorities deal with dangerous animals.

The ruling was issued Tuesday afternoon and awarded Ives mother, Rebecca Ives, and his father, Kevan Francis, $1.95 million. Judge Dale Kimball wrote in the judgement that the failure of government employees to notify Ives's family about a dangerous bear in a camping area amounted to negligence. He said the government was 65 percent responsible for Ives's death, while the state government bore 25 percent of the responsibility and Ives's family bore 10 percent. A lawsuit against the state is still pending.

The family had gone to American Fork Canyon on Father's Day in 2007 when 11-year-old Ives was dragged out of his tent and killed by a bear. Authorities learned earlier in the day that a bear attacked another camper in the same area, but did not mention the attack to Ives's family.

At a news conference Wednesday, an emotional Rebecca Ives said that though the judgement will never bring back her son, she was glad the judge recognized that Samuel's death could have been avoided.

"While there are notices throughout the canyon that this is bear country, I believe with all my heart that this situation could have been prevented if they had simply taped off the area," she said.

She went on to say that she hopes the judgement motivates the government to change its policies so that preventable tragedies are avoided in the future. Attorney Allen Young described the goal of the lawsuit as producing some sort of "Sam Alert" that would require authorities to more explicitly warn campers about potentially dangerous wildlife. He explained that the government had opted not to implement such a policy previously, but that in the wake of the judgement they might change their position.

"They're on notice from the dollar amount and from our claim that they can't do that," Young said of the government's actions surrounding Ives's death.

Young also stressed that the lawsuit was not the result of Ives's death, but rather how the government let a family walk into a situation authorities knew was perilous. He described the bear that killed Ives as a SDLqlevel 3 bear," meaning it was a dangerous animal that needed to be destroyed, and said Kimball's ruling made it clear the government had a responsibility to more thoroughly engage the threat. Unlike a typical encounter with a dangerous animal, he said, Ives's death was preceded by another attack by a bear that authorities knew might return.

He also said the ruling brought justice to Ives's family, and called out the government for fighting the case for so long. He said the same U.S. attorney's office that rigorously prosecuted high profile cases including Elizabeth Smart's abduction and Kiplyn Davis's death fought equally hard to deny justice to Ives's family.

Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah, said her office is still weighing its options as it moves forward. Young said that the government typically would have 30 days to appeal.

But both Young and Rebecca Ives added that they hope the decision isn't appealed. Young described it as legally sound, and explained that taking the lawsuit to court is emotionally taxing for the plaintiffs.

Young said Ives's family also is pursing a lawsuit against the state government. Kimball's ruling has no bearing on that lawsuit, but Young said he hopes the decision motivates state lawyers to recognize the validity of the case. He added that Ives's family hopes to settle that lawsuit soon.
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Posts : 727
Join date : 2009-04-03
Age : 45
Location : Nw kansas

PostSubject: Re: Family of bear victim sues Fed and wins   Thu May 12, 2011 7:00 pm

when we were at yellowstone last year, a guy was killed by a bear that had been tranquiliced a few days before, they knew it was that bear because they had collared it and didnt put up their warning signs out long enough after the capture is what we were told in west yellowstone where we stayed, the family said had he known it he would of carried his bear spray is what we were told,i guess if there is an animal in the direct area, people should be warned, and on the other side of the coin, we knew we could encounter bears, wolves, loins, buffalo etc.... prior to going, it is a loose, loose for everyone involved, including the animal who would almost automatically be destroyed
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Posts : 478
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 38
Location : Utah

PostSubject: Re: Family of bear victim sues Fed and wins   Fri May 13, 2011 10:05 pm

I think it is the wrong decision. Bears are in this area and in my opinion people should be aware of what they are entering into for any task they undertake. Push it to far and we will have to get licenses/training just to go hiking etc. The family had food inside the tent.

Just my opinion though.
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Posts : 40
Join date : 2011-04-10

PostSubject: Re: Family of bear victim sues Fed and wins   Sat May 14, 2011 7:24 pm

people go to Yellowstone and other Parks in hope to see bears, elk, wolves and other wildlife to get pictures of these critters in there OWN environment. Its a shame what happened but should I sue the state for getting stung by a bee and almost dying because I am allergic to them. People should be held a little responsible and take every precaution to ensure a good safe time. (having food in tent is a bad idea)

Just my crazy opinion
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Posts : 22
Join date : 2011-01-22
Location : Colorado

PostSubject: Re: Family of bear victim sues Fed and wins   Sat May 21, 2011 11:22 am

A tragedy for sure for the family, however, eveytime you go to the woods you are part of the natural food chain and there are risks involved... Bears, Cats, ect all can and will hurt you.. Be prepared and don't depend on anyone to defend yourself or your love ones...
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